The Orioles traded RHP Koji Uehara to the Texas Rangers for RHP Tommy Hunter and 1B Chris Davis.
Koji was incredible for us this year, posting a 1.72 ERA over 47 innings with 62 strikeouts and 8 walks. Unfortunately that didn’t lead to many Oriole wins and his value is why he was traded. We got a good, although risky, return but what more can you expect from a 36 year old injury prone reliever. Tommy Hunter is probably the key to this trade. He went 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA last year over 128 innings with 68 strikeouts and 33 walks. In 2009 he was 9-6 with a 4.10 ERA over 112 innings with 64 strikeouts and 33 walks. Hes still only 25 years old although is just coming back from some minor injuries. Hes a big guy with a power arm and a good curve. He could be a Jeremy Guthrie type innings eater, middle of the rotation starter. We need stability in the rotation and he hes under control through 2015. This years hes worked out of the bullpen and has a 2.93 ERA over 15.1 innings with 10 strikeouts and 5 walks. It shouldn’t take long to get him back into the starters role, he made some starts on his minor league rehab going 2-2 with a 4.99 ERA over 30.2 innings with 21 stikeouts and 4 walks between AA and AAA.
Davis is a 25 year old power hitting first baseman. I’d say hes comparable to Mark Reynolds as a hitter except he doesn’t walk nearly as much but has made up for hit with a high batting average in his minor league career. He had success with the Rangers in 2008 putting up a .880 OPS at 22 years old but struggled the next year, being sent back down to AAA after posting a .726 OPS over 391 at bats. He was awful in limited at bats last year for Texas and hadn’t done much this year either over 80 at bats. Throughout his struggles at the major league level he has consistently crushed minor league pitching. He has 118 career minor league homeruns over his six professional years and 42 major league homers. This year in AAA he hit .368/.405/.824 with 14 doubles, a triple, 24 homeruns, and 66 RBI over 193 at bats. Hes yet to get over the hump in the majors but hopefully a change of scenery and everyday at bats will help him get there. Hes supposed to be pretty good defensively and he’ll get every day at bats for the rest of the season at first base. Hes still only 25 years old and under our control through 2014. He doesn’t prohibit us from signing a big bat at first base in the offseason (Prince Fielder, etc.) as he can play left field, third base, and of course DH as well. We might break the record for most strikeouts between Davis and Reynolds but there should be some pretty impressive homeruns in there as well.